Donald W. Parry, “Psalm 22 and Its Fulfillment in Jesus Christ,” in The Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2022), 32–33.
Psalm 22 is a remarkable prophecy regarding Jesus Christ’s final hours in mortality, when He suffered intense abuse followed by His Crucifixion. See the chart below. The psalm describes the people’s contempt of Jesus as they scorned and mocked Him and treated Him as if He were no greater than a worm. The psalm imparts the exact words Jesus spoke while on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (v. 1). Jesus spoke these words with “a loud voice” (Matt. 27:46) or, according to the psalm, with “roaring” words (Ps. 22:1), as if a mighty lion is speaking them. The psalm contains an explicit reference to the piercing of Jesus’s hands and feet (v. 16)—“They pierced my hands and my feet”—that was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified. The psalm’s words, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (v. 18), were precisely fulfilled by those who crucified Jesus. Matthew recorded, “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots” (Matt. 27:35).
Psalm 22 also contains a vivid description of what happened to Jesus’s physical body while on the cross: “All my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws. . . . They pierced my hands and my feet” (vv. 14–16). These verses describe what happened to Jesus’s body (bones, heart, bowels, tongue, jaws, hands, feet) as it was stretched out and nailed to the cross and remained so for hours.
Psalm 22 and Its Fulfillment in Jesus Christ
Fulfillment in Christ
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (v. 1).
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).
“Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered” (vv. 4–5).
“He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him” (Matt. 27:43).
“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” (v. 6).
“They spit upon him . . . smote him on the head. . . . They had mocked him” (Matt. 27:30–31).
“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head” (v. 7).
“They that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads” (Matt. 27:39; Mark 15:29).
“He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him” (v. 8).
“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them deride him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ” (Luke 23:35).
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels” (v. 14).
“One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34).
“My strength is dried upon like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death” (v. 15).
“Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28).
“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me” (v. 15).
Chief priests, elders, the multitude, soldiers, scribes, thieves took actions against Jesus (Matt. 27:20–44).
“They pierced my hands and my feet.” (v. 16)
“And they crucified him” (Matt. 27:35).
“And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced” (John 19:37, citing Zech. 12:10).
“I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me” (v. 17).
“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs” (John 19:33).
“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (v. 18).
“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots” (Matt. 27:35).